It can be difficult for designers to keep other companies from creating imitations of their work, because, as the author points out:
Intellectual property laws in the United States generally don't protect functional items, and since most modern furniture fits squarely into that category, designers often have a hard time fighting knockoffs. They can protect certain original, innovative, or decorative elements within their works, but they can't 'own' the concept of a clean-lined chair or dresser.
It would be hard to find a person that didn't want to support the designers who are losing money because of lower-quality knock-offs created by other companies, but what about those who can't afford such expensive designs? Should they buy a knock-off of what they truly want, or invest in a less expensive piece by a local or lesser known designer?
Read the rest of the article at Dwell, and tell us your thoughts here. I'm anxious to hear your opinions!
MORE KNOCK-OFF THOUGHTS ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
• Knockoffs: Flattery or Theft?
• Eames Knock Offs, Fakes & Copies
• The Real Deal v The Steal: Can A Knock-Off Ever Be Okay?